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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
From a member of http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/12-tank-journals/961338-methods-classroom.html

We are very dedicated in our planted aquarium. Our class has learned a lot from the beginning of the school year, and our horizons have expanded greatly. We have added quite a bit to our aquarium in the recent months. We have a natural wood hardscape with Black Diamond Blasting Sand substrate. For the materials needed to keep maintenance in check, we have one Aquaclear-20 filter, Aqueon 50-watt heaters, and a single-bulb T8 fixture hung 18 inches over the substrate. Our tank contains a variety of plants, such as Baby Tears, Ludwigia Repens, water wisteria, water sprite, Frogbit, Java Moss, Rotala, water lettuce, guppy grass, Cabomba, anacharis and Pennywort. In terms of animals, we have some Fancy Guppies in our tank, as well as a few Ram’s Horn snails.

In the future, our we dream of our tank being vibrant with beautiful plants, such as Corkscrew Vallisneria, Cryptocoryne, Dwarf Hairgrass, Hygrophila compacta, Marsilea Minuta, Pygmy chain sword, Amazon sword, and Lilaeopsis. We plan to add peaceful, yet exciting creatures such as freshwater tropical fish, shrimp, and African speckled dwarf frogs.
 

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Ha ha! I wasn't sure if you'd use that glass figurine! I knew the plants, books and magazines would be useful but at the last minute I decided to add the glass figurine thinking that maybe some of your students would like it. Maybe it can be like an aquatic version of elf on the shelve and move from one tank to another. :laugh2:
 

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Hey there! Looks like you've got a real jungle growing, lots of action in this tank. I'm not sure if it was intentional, but I see you almost completely covered the heater with the driftwood, I think that helps keep the tank looking more natural. Do you have any ideas for fish you'd like to keep in here?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey there! Looks like you've got a real jungle growing, lots of action in this tank. I'm not sure if it was intentional, but I see you almost completely covered the heater with the driftwood, I think that helps keep the tank looking more natural. Do you have any ideas for fish you'd like to keep in here?
We would like to have maybe some peaceful to semi peaceful fish with a group of two of bottom feeders like shrimp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
New tank!

This past week we have gotten another 10-gallon tank. There is nothing in it but red root floaters, and our group is working on getting it fully cycled. We want your opinion, what types of plants and fish do you think we should place in our tank?
 

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This past week we have gotten another 10-gallon tank. There is nothing in it but red root floaters, and our group is working on getting it fully cycled. We want your opinion, what types of plants and fish do you think we should place in our tank?
If possible, how about a shrimp only tank where the goal is to try and breed? Perhaps Red Cherry Shrimp (RCS) only? This way, you'd be able to see what a given species needs in order to thrive through its various life stages.
 

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Yes, like Method said, the secondary tank my group has is currently a "Dirted tank".

In order to do this my group and I were guided through the steps of successfully creating a "Dirted tank". First we emptied out the tank and then poured about an inch of potting soil in the middle (not touching any of the edges of the tank except for in the back). After that, we capped off the soil fully with an additional inch of Black Diamond Blasting Sand substrate. Then we carefully poured water back and red root floaters afterwards.
For the future layout, do you think our new tank's base should be flat or mountainous, and why?

On the other hand, to anyone who has had any experience with a "Dirted tank" what are some things that we should watch out for? Also are there any tips you would like to give?
 

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@Aquamarine121 As an alternative way of answering your questions above, I'd like to pose some questions to your group:
1) Is your substrate inert or active? What are some benefits/tradeoffs of each?
2) Will the future flora/fauna your group plans on keeping in there affect whether you should use a flat or mountainous scape? How so?
 

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@Aquamarine121 As an alternative way of answering your questions above, I'd like to pose some questions to your group:
1) Is your substrate inert or active? What are some benefits/tradeoffs of each?
2) Will the future flora/fauna your group plans on keeping in there affect whether you should use a flat or mountainous scape? How so?
Answering your first question:
For our most recent tank the substrate is active. The most beneficial type of substrate between an active and an inert substrate is an inert substrate. A benefit of having an active substrate is that you won't have to worry about the plants that need that extra nutrients from the substrate, because the substrate already contains those nutrients. It also does a great job of lowering pH. If you wouldn't mind having to put in tabs or powder of nutrients/fertilizers, having an inert substrate would be no problem. There may not be a great amount of benefits for inert substrate, but with inert substrate, if you are strict about the pH level of your tank, you can use inert substrate and not worry about it changing your pH level, because it doesn't change anything about your tanks water.

Answering your second question:
Yes, the future flora and fauna our group plans on keeping would most definitely affect whether we would use a flat or mountainous scape. In a mountainous scape, the choice of plants and height of them may be shorter only including moss type plant or rosette, with rock-like hardscapes like slate. A flat scape could be an assortment of plants, short and tall, rosette or stem, drift wood or slate, and even maybe moss.
 

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Nicely done Aquamarine121! I'm impressed!

We're going to have fun setting up that tank after spring break. Let's make sure to check the cycle every day. You guys are advanced enough to have total control of plants and animals!
 

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Aquamarine121 thank you for fantastic and thorough answers! I have only one minor comment about when you say:

[...] The most beneficial type of substrate between an active and an inert substrate is an inert substrate. [...]
You laid out some of the benefits between each nicely, so I would counter that which one is "best" will depend entirely on the aquarist's desired maintenance regimen and any current or future flora/fauna. What are some of the planned flora/fauna that you would like to keep?

In other news, I did some rearranging of my nano tank today, and took out the remaining Wisteria and Water sprite (1 large plant each) so that my other plants such as Pogostemon erectus and S. repens don't have to compete as hard for nutrients. Would your group like it, or know of anyone in your class that could benefit from two fast-growing stem plants? There will probably be some strands of chain sword/java moss in there as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
What should our name be?

Today we are trying to decide on a group name. We are asking for your opinion. If you have any ideas feel free to post them. By the end of tomorrow we will post our decision,and change the heading from 1st entry to the name chosen.
 

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Did you guys ever get that last small shipment of plants?

Bump:
Today we are trying to decide on a group name. We are asking for your opinion. If you have any ideas feel free to post them. By the end of tomorrow we will post our decision,and change the heading from 1st entry to the name chosen.
I think it's hard to come up with good name suggestions for your group, but I can suggest to think about names that revolve around:
- what your group members have in common
- favorite aquatic flora or fauna
- oceanic/aquatic characters, whether real or fiction
- "thesis" or style desired for your tank

Hope this helps you to get started :nerd:
 
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